It was recently reported that Usain Bolt – dubbed the world’s fastest runner – was stripped of one of his nine Gold medals. Unlike other occasions when athletes have lost a medal or award, in this case Bolt himself did nothing wrong. He was not guilty of cheating or unsportsmanlike conduct. Rather, Bolt lost the Olympic gold medal because his teammate, Nesta Carter, tested positive for a banned stimulant found during a re-analysis of samples from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Carter and Bolt were teammates on the winning 4×100-meter team, which set a world record of 37.10 seconds. Carter ran the opening leg, and Bolt took the baton third in the race. But doping by even one member of the team disqualified the entire team – four athletes – from the competition. Continue reading
Even though we live in a technology-driven data-saturated world, emotion still plays a huge role in how businesses are managed and how economies function. When business leaders feel buoyant about the future, they are more likely to launch new products or expand into new markets. When they are hopeful about the outlook for business, they are more likely to hire staff, make capital expenditures to replace outdated equipment and invest in new technology. And most economists agree that the degree of optimism that consumers feel in regards to the economy and their personal financial situations is practically a self-fulfilling prophecy. When people feel strong, positive, secure and sure – whether those feelings are based on facts and concrete data or not – they are more likely to spend, hire and take calculated risks. The result of all that confidence is that it usually fuels innovation and economic growth which then fuels more optimism. It is a virtuous cycle. Continue reading
Failure and success. Winner and loser. Just what is the relationship between these concepts? Is there a vast ocean of qualities, traits, and achievements that separates failure from success? What makes a person a winner? Is success something you are, something you achieve or something you have? Do we consider someone a success because he or she has achieved certain milestones? What are those things? Education. Wealth. Respect. Fame. Power. Control. Relationships. Position. Continue reading
Millions of professionals worldwide spend a huge part of their work life traveling. Salespeople are constantly driving from place to place, meeting with clients or potential clients or visiting job sites. Service professionals and consultants often go to their customers’ locations to provide support. Couriers and logistics companies constantly have their employees on the road. Even many dentists and doctors have multiple offices or hospitals to which they drive daily. It is not unusual for busy execs to be ‘on the road’ half of their work week or more. Continue reading
Many occupations have disappeared due to automation, advanced machinery and computers. Manufacturing jobs have decreased in number and salary. Clerical jobs have dwindled as technology has streamlined office processes. Clean forms of energy have hurt mining and related industries. Robotics, computer automation and engineering advances will surely put an end to even more jobs such as bon-bon dippers, check writers, finger cobblers, clock hand inspectors, and globe mounters.
Some fear that technology will eventually replace every job and make human labor obsolete. But consider that technological advances have been pushing people out of job since long before the Industrial Revolution. This is nothing new. While technology killed some jobs, those same technological advances created other new jobs. And while computers and robots can do a great many things, they are also many other things they simply cannot do… and will likely never be able to do. Continue reading
The world’s most sophisticated computers can out-think most humans today. They have more memory, greater instant access to information and don’t need anything except electricity (and maybe an Internet connection) to keep going 24 hours a day. Even the average laptop is able to perform many tasks that once required human involvement. And, as robotics are infused into more machinery and engineering, the work once done by humans to make things is also being increasingly replaced by computerized machines. Robots don’t need sleep, hydration, nutrition or oxygen to breath. Robots don’t take vacations, don’t go on maternity leave, don’t need coffee breaks (or coffee, for that matter), or want fringe benefits like increasingly expensive health insurance. Robots don’t have bad days, sick kids or aging parents. Computers and robots have a shorter life span, but can be depreciated and written off on taxes, along with other equipment. In short, technological innovations are increasingly making some jobs obsolete. Continue reading
We live in an increasingly Faster-is-Better world. We want what we want… and we want it now. Waiting has become a cardinal sin. Waiting more than two seconds for a web page to load increases bounce rates. Waiting for pedestrians to get out of a crosswalk makes drivers dangerously antsy. Waiting on hold more than a minute for a company to provide service causes customers to hang up and go elsewhere. Speed has become so important that businesses have sprung up focused on providing faster service. Walmart, eBay and Amazon are all offering same-day delivery in many locations. Uber’s business model is built on ensuring that a person who needs a ride can get one at a moment’s notice anywhere. Drive-through windows have sprung up for everything from groceries to medicines. Some furniture stores now also offer same-day delivery. Even the world of entertainment has begun catering to the increasing demand for instant results. Companies like Netflix are now offering an entire season’s worth of programs all at once to feed the desire to “binge-watch” without having to wait for the next installment. This demand for “immediate” has seeped into every corner of life – both real and virtual. Continue reading